5 Ways To Add Years To Your Dog’s Life

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Have you ever wondered how to add years to your dog’s life? Here are some basic tips to keep your beloved buddy around for years to come.

Hello there my Rover-Time, friend!

Mark & I have a tiny patient in our midst. Being first-time dog owners, neither of us has ever experienced bringing in a pet for teeth cleaning. And Chauncey, a four-year-old dog that had never had a permanent home before finding us, had never experienced this either. Eight extractions, later he’s home and staying close to his mom, healing and getting over what can be summed up as probably his worst day yet. Maybe.

So why do we subject our dogs to these routine procedures?

If it’s not done out of the responsibility we feel for their health, it could possibly be for a really basic reason: to keep them with us for as long as possible.

Have you ever wondered how to add years to your dog’s life?

These really basic tips are easy to put into action and they’ll help keep your beloved buddy around for years to come.

  1. Feeding raw, fresh foods on occasion can really invigorate your dog’s diet. Believe it or not, ALL pet food should be fit for human consumption. Get to know your pet food labels, read the label and avoid products with chemicals and unnatural additives. You should also look out for unwanted by-products.
  2. Tooth decay and diseased gums produce bacteria that get into your dog’s bloodstream. It can result in problems in any of their organs but in particular, the valves in your dog’s heart can be damaged. Kidneys are also very vulnerable and this is one of the major killers of older dogs. Don’t use human toothpaste but entice your pet with the beef or chicken-flavored variety, because you need to keep your dog’s teeth clean for more reasons than “The Dog-Breath Issue”.
  3. I would never have thought of applying sunscreen to a dog, but pale or white dogs are very at risk to skin cancer. A quick smear of sunscreen on the vulnerable areas; tips of ears and nose, could be a very simple way of saving your dog’s life.
  4. A fit dog lives longer. Obesity amongst pet dogs is a growing problem. If a dog is overweight, it puts extra strain on various parts of the body and may well shorten the dog’s life. Keep track of how much you feed your dog on a daily basis and keep them on a consistent schedule.
  5. Be familiar with your vet. As your dog gets older, you may not visit the vet as often because immunizations are needed less frequently. Regular checkups and physicals are vital to your dog’s health: they’ll help you recognize recurring problems that may not be readily visible, and increase the chances that any sort of serious disease will be found in its early stages. Plus, the more your vet sees your dog, the more he or she will know the animal – and the more likely he or she will be to recognize something out of the ordinary.

In the comments below, I want to hear from you. What experience can you share with other readers?

  • What’s your one “must-do” for your dog that you participate in willingly and do on schedule?
  • What are you having difficulty doing for your pet? (No judgment here, by the way. We all have those hard-to-get-done things in our life!)

I’m excited to read what you’ll share. As always, I’m so grateful to you!

Image by Sera Hayes


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Comments (10)

Christie Halmick (@JewelsBranch)

I've never done the dog teeth cleaning thing before! But we're lucky enough to have a wonderful vet (my husband's roommate from college). She's super great at explaining things to us and to our kids about what to do with our dog.

Ferris Jay

Our rescue dog is about 14 now by our calculations (we weren't quite sure what her age was when we got her). We've always called her a 'puppy' and still do ... people actually think she IS still a puppy because she's still so bright eyed and bushy tailed. So, my top tip is to keep thinking of your dog as young and sprightly and they're more likely to stay that way for longer. She doesn't much like having her nails clipped or bathed, so we take her regularly to the groomers for those things. That way, it's done right, easily (there's nothing ickier than worrying about cutting into the quick of their nails!) and regularly.

Trinidad Pena (@trinidad_pena)

I've been thinking about getting a rescue for a while now. I miss having a pet. I'm bookmarking your blog for sure. Thanks. Great post.


To your point about pet food: my friend only gives her dogs high quality meat from the butchers and prepares it the way she would prepare it for her family (she's a vegetarian herself). Her dogs are quite old and ill, one has a heart problem, the other is half-blind but they're able to live a full life with her, very admirable!

Anne Headen

Hi Julia, I don't have a pooch at the moment as she died recently but one of my cats when he was a kitten suffered from sunburnt ears (he's white). They were very sore and scabbed over causing iritation. He then kept scratching making it worse. We had to use sunscreen. We also lived in Scotland at the time which is not warm, so it didn't need much warmth in the sun to cause the sunburn.

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